6.14 The Pupil’s Difference

Moulana was a big supporter of the Congress Party. However, his righteous pupil, the embodiment of virtue and excellence, the gold-mine of goodness and piety strongly differed in this matter. In other words, how much Moulana supported the Congress Party so much Hazrat Thanwi was against it. And what an opposition! On the one side, all the Elders of Deoband and on the other side this solitary Durwaish of Thanabawan.

In view of the difference of opinion of the two Buzrugs – Ustaad and Shaagird – being of an ijtihaadi nature [personal understanding and judgement] and based purely on sincerity and Lillaahiyat, just as was the difference among the Aimma-e-Mujtahideen and Salaf-e-Saaliheen from antiquity, therefore, notwithstanding this difference the personal relationship between the two was not harmed at all.

Their unacquainted friends and unintelligent devotees, however, became embroiled over this. The faithful of Hazrat Moulana Thanwi did not have the courage to utter anything in this matter. Moulana’s devotees, however, would complain to him often whilst Moulana would pass good opinions of Hazrat [Thanwi], commend his Deeni services and stop those short-sighted persons from their objections. Once, he went so far as to say to one Aalim from Panipat:
“Bhai! To differ with one’s own people does not seem right. Why don’t I change my stand and agree with him [Hazrat Thanwi] because I don’t receive Wahi that my opinion is the correct one.”

On another occasion when Hazrat Thanwi, in spite of the on-going difference, came to meet Moulana in Deoband, a devotee of Moulana seized the opportunity and incited Moulana by saying: “He [Hazrat Thanwi] has come. If these matters of difference are discussed with him perhaps he will be in agreement with us.” Moulana answered:
“No! It is not appropriate. One who shows due consideration should not be argued with. Furthermore, opinions do not change through conversation; they change through circumstances.”

In spite of these differences the bond between the teacher and pupil remained as before; intact and firm, and whenever Moulana would write a letter to his Shaagird he would address him with words such as: Master, Honourable, etc. Hazrat Thanwi petitioned Moulana not to write such words and save him embarrassment. However, Moulana only used such titles. Thereupon Hazrat Thanwi wrote:
“By my request not being accepted it appears that Moulana is comforted by this even though I am uneasy. However, I take Hazrat’s comfort above my comfort. Now, whatever is desired let it be used. I will bear.”

Such examples of respect for the Ustaad and regard for the Shaagird can only be found among Men of the Truth. It cannot be conceived from slaves of desire and carnal pleasures.

6.15 Moulana Sa’eed Ahmad Saheb Dehlwi

He was also among the Asaatizah of Hazrat Thanwi. He did not study mathematics by any Ustaad. Solely by his Allah-given intellect and understanding he pursued this science and acquired it. He achieved perfection in mathematics to such a degree that the Chief of the Intelligent, Moulana Muhammad Ya’qoob Saheb said about him:
“If Iqleedas, [Euclid, the renowned Greek mathematician of the 3rd B.C.], was intelligent then just this much. Not more than him.”

6.16 Other Asaatizah

Hazrat would also name Mulla Mahmood and Moulana Abdul Ali among his Asaatiza-e-Kiraam.

6.17 Qaari Muhammad Abdullah Saheb Muhaajir-e-Makki

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi practised the art of Qiraat by him. He was accepted by the Qurraa of Arabia to be an exceptional and highly qualified Qaari. He was reputed to be an Imaam of the art.

He, too, saw some extraordinary talent in his righteous pupil. Thus, he instructed Hazrat to teach the students of the Madrasah several lessons of some works on Qiraat. This was all in nurturing Hazrat’s practical skill and making him familiar with the books on the subject.